Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | December 11, 2017

The 2017 New England Contemporary Italian Film Festival at Salem State University

The 2017 New England Contemporary Italian Film Festival at Salem State University

In celebration of the Italian October Heritage Month, Salem State University proudly hosts for the first time the screening of the 2017 New England Contemporary Italian Film Festival. In collaboration with the Italian programs of four Universities in the New England—Brandeis University, Northeastern University, Salem State University and UMass Boston—the Italian Consulate in Boston presents a selection of films provided by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, Italy (see the Consulate General of Italy website:

During the months of October and November, sponsored by the department of World Languages and Cultures and the Italian Club, the three-night film festival at SSU brings you films from both award-winning Italian directors and new young talents. On Wednesday, October 25, we showed the documentary entitled Le Cose belle/The beautiful things which has been awarded 25 national and international awards. The directors, Agostino Ferrente and Giovanni Piperno, followed the lives of four impoverished Neapolitan children over a span of around twelve years. The contrast between their hopes at the time they were teenagers and their difficulties of becoming adults tackled the hard reality that many of us have to face in life: that our dreams may not ever come true.

The second movie on Wednesday, November 8, entitled Il Sole dentro/The Bright Light, has been recognized as “a film of cultural interest” by the Italian Ministry of Culture. It also received the support of UNICEF and Save the Children. This is the real story of Yaguine and Fodè, two Guinean teenagers hidden in the cargo compartment of a plane to Brussels. They leave Guinea with a letter written on behalf of all children and young Africans to the members and leaders of Europe, asking for help for schools, food, and health care. This travel intersects with the fictional story of another trip, this time from Europe to Africa, which occurs ten years later. Two teenagers, Rocco and Thabo, victims in Italy of football slavery, leave from Bari and reach Central Africa on foot through the desert.

The third movie on Wednesday, November 15, entitled Civico Zero, tackles the unforgiving reality of homeless, vagrants, beggars and migrants with no known address. The film consists of three real stories, each one starring professional actors. The first episode narrates the lives of two young Ethiopians and their child in Rome, who first live in a container and are then constrained to move from town to town to find profitless jobs. The second is the story of an illegal resident from Romania who fights against poverty, social loneliness and depression. The third episode narrates the life of a roman fruit seller at Campo de’ Fiori who becomes mad after his mother’s death and ends up wandering aimlessly throughout the city.

All movies reflect various timely and controversial aspects of contemporary Italian society and culture and all were free and open to the public.

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